Lunar Eclipse, Supermoon to coincide for first time since 1982

It’s a moon watcher’s delight to observe a Lunar Eclipse or a Supermoon. But to catch both events on the same evening is quite rare, the last time that happened was 1982. But this Sunday (September 27) sky watchers will be able to enjoy the first Supermoon Lunar Eclipse in more than 30 years.

The moon will changed different shades of red as a lunar eclipse occurs.
The moon will changed different shades of red as a lunar eclipse occurs.

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

It’s a moon watcher’s delight to observe a Lunar Eclipse or a Supermoon. But to catch both events on the same evening is quite rare, the last time that happened was 1982. But this Sunday (September 27) sky watchers will be able to enjoy the first Supermoon Lunar Eclipse in more than 30 years.

A lunar eclipse—which can happen up to three times a year—is when the Earth is between the full moon and the sun. The light from the sun is bent by Earth’s atmosphere and gives the moon a red tint. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘harvest moon’ or ‘blood moon,’ given the color. Unlike a solar eclipse, which occurs when the moon is between the sun and the Earth, eye protection is not required to view a lunar eclipse, though binoculars or a telescope would improve the view.

A supermoon occurs when the moon is at its closest position (called the perigee) to Earth during its orbit. Since the moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle, the moon can be further or closer to Earth at a given time during the orbit. The moon does not physically change, but to star gazers on Earth it appears to be larger. According to NASA.gov the moon should appear 14 percent larger than usual.

The two events coinciding has only happened a handful of time since 1900 (1910, 1928, 1946, 1964 and 1982), and scientists don’t expect another occurrence of this nature until 2033.

Those wanting to watch the event can do so starting on Sunday, September 27 starting at 9:07 EST.

For residents in Mountain Time, the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse will follow this timeline: 7:07 p.m. MDT on September 27 (partial umbral eclipse begins), 8:11 p.m. MDT (total eclipse begins), 8:47 p.m. MDT (greatest eclipse), 9:23 p.m. MDT (total eclipse ends), 10:27 p.m. MDT (partial eclipse ends).

Those living on the eastern side of the United States should be able to view the entire event, but it will be partially finished by the time the moon rises in the western part of the country.

Unfortunately, the weather report for the area on Sunday evening is anticipating a partly to mostly cloudy sky, which may restrict views.